SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - People say only two things are certain in life: death and taxes. For the latter, the Schofield Barracks Tax Center has just the right remedy.

The Tax Center, located in Building 648, next to the Sgt. Smith Theater, will be open exclusively for Soldiers in ranks E-1 (private) through E-4 (specialist/corporal), Jan. 24-26, offering free assistance in organizing and completing 2010 income tax forms.

Filers will be able to take advantage of the free service on a walk-in basis only, between 7 a.m.-4 p.m.

The Tax Center will be open to all ranks, families and retirees starting Jan. 27.

According to Capt. Chase Allen, Legal Assistance attorney, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, more than 2,500 returns were completed at the Tax Center last year, totaling more than $8 million in tax refunds.

"A lot of people don't realize this service is 100-percent free," Allen said. "If people go to a commercial tax preparation service, they will have to pay."

In addition to the service being free, Allen said an added incentive to filing on post through the Tax Center is that filers will likely receive their refunds sooner. With the advantages of e-filing and direct deposit, Allen said the wait time for refund checks has been cut in half.

To streamline the process, Allen suggests that those interested in using the service should come prepared and armed with necessary documentation. Aside from W-2 forms, filers should also bring their military ID cards, Social Security cards for family members, last year's tax returns and any other documentation, including receipts and cancelled checks for items of income or deduction that individuals plan on claiming on their return.

Since wait times can vary - sometimes averaging three to four hours - filers are advised not to bring their children into the Tax Center.

For more information, visit the or call 808-655-1040.

Page last updated Wed January 26th, 2011 at 21:39